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I am glad you posted here because I know exactly how you feel! I am from the same background, and have done many of the same things as you. I am about to turn 22, and I have never felt more weird/confused/vulnerable about life. Like you, I have kind of been on a conveyer belt my entire life. I am graduating undergrad this May and I will be starting graduate school in August. Pretty main stream… I have many talents and abilities, but I sometimes feel like I don’t really know what I want out of life yet! I never used to think about it, I thought just getting my bachelors degree and eventually becoming an OT would make me happy. I wouldn’t say that I am unhappy, but I just feel like I am also on a narrow path. I always thought I knew who I was and what I wanted…but I think what I wanted is what society wants. Ugh. It’s a tough cycle and the more you think about it the more you begin to worry. Unfortunately, this time period has caused me much anxiety and panic, which isn’t fun at all. I just feel like there has to be more to life than what meets the eye but I just can’t put my finger on what it exactly is yet. I don’t think I am crazy either, besides the fact that I can overanalyze things too much sometimes! Luckily, I have some friends who I can connect with on a deeper level, but it’s still hard to relate sometimes. I think the most important thing to remember is that things do happen for a reason…even if you don’t quite understand it yet! 🙂
Oh and yes- it’s possible to continue with life! I always thought you had to be happy every single day to fully live. That’s not true, I think that there is some form of good in everyday if you look for it! When I started having trouble with anxiety, I felt like my world was literally crashing down on me. But you’re sadness is not a part of you, it’s just a feeling. Good luck!!
I know exactly what you mean. I experience this as well in many aspects of my life and it’s never easy – but you have to remember that nothing is certain in life. We can control it as much as we want too, and do the best that we can for ourselves and others but it’s okay that there is an unknown. If we knew exactly what was going to happen everyday, wouldn’t it get pretty boring?! I struggle with this as well, so you’re not alone! I try and imagine the unknown as driving your car… You continue to keep driving even though you don’t know what is ahead because you know you’re going to be okay and can trust the road ahead of you. Unfortunately people like us tend to overthink which causes unneeded worry. As for your cat, I hope he or she comes back safely. Keep an optimistic mind and know that there is a blessing in everything, even if you don’t see it right away!March 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm in reply to: Major life anxiety at 21, and have never experienced it before, help! #74148
Thanks so much, again! I am going to try my best to use these techniques in my own life 🙂 I really appreciate the advice!March 18, 2015 at 9:21 am in reply to: Major life anxiety at 21, and have never experienced it before, help! #74091
Thank you, everyone! I really appreciate the advice and also knowing that I am not the only one who has felt this way. It’s definitely the hardest thing I have dealt with in my life so far. I’m just praying for a positive outcome through all of this.
-CarolineMarch 17, 2015 at 3:21 pm in reply to: Major life anxiety at 21, and have never experienced it before, help! #74063
Hi Ben –
Thank you for your insight. That makes a lot of sense. I think the hardest part is remembering to tell myself that a lot of people are going through the exact same thing, but express it in many different ways. I am learning to not be as critical with myself, which I never thought would be so difficult. I believe that I am just going through a very big change in my life and for the first time, I feel more alone then ever in it because I am carving my own path in life. I think I have been sleep walking the past 20 years. Yikes! It’s sad how our society downplays everything, making someone who is suffering from anxiety about life and other things feel so left out. It’s crazy. If anyone has any other advice about this very uncomfortable but interesting journey, I will gladly listen.
-CarolineMarch 17, 2015 at 10:28 am in reply to: Major life anxiety at 21, and have never experienced it before, help! #74047
Thanks so much, Kath! It comes and goes through phases. For example, I struggling when I was at school and then really started to feel better. Then I got home for spring break this week, and fell right back into the rut. It’s very frustrating because I do not yet know how to keep the balance. I get really excited because I start to feel better, and then feel very discouraged when I fall into the slump again. What are your favorite techniques that help you? Or what helped your friend the most? What worries me is that I have started to develop small phobias of certain things. When I feel really down, I get very scared of driving. I think it’s because I worry something bad will happen if I get too upset while driving. I know it sounds illogical, but to me it freaks me out! I usually just have to make myself do it and I usually feel better once I do. I have also always been very independent, (I go to school 8 hours from home) – and sometimes doing so many things alone gets really lonely (i.e, driving home, flying, etc). Thanks so much again for your help. -Caroline